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Last week I was invited to the launch of Zandra Rhodes' S/S 2016 collection for People Tree'Girl Power: Roses, Lipstick, Bows', which basically describes all of the extraordinary prints used for this capsule collection.

As you may be aware, Dame Zandra Rhodes has also collaborated with People Tree for the  A/W 2015/2016 capsule collection 'Comic Check Print, Dancing Stars & Fast Cars', all available to buy now, (see our previous post, incl. a 10% reader discount).

Dame Zandra Rhodes in Bangladesh with People Tree

Zandra studied at Medway College of Art, followed by the Royal College of Art, where she specialized in textile design.

In late 1960s she took her designs to the US and was featured in Vogue, by none other than the late and legendary editor-in-chief Diana Vreeland.

Zandra was also appointed Commander of the British Empire (CBE) in 1997 and Dame Commander of the order of the British Empire (DBE).

Needles to say, I felt honored to have been invited to this launch at her apartment atelier in London, which also houses the Fashion and Textile Museum on the ground floor.

The evening was as colorful as could be expected of Zandra, her penthouse/atelier is a delight in its own right: vivid and filled with incredible art, as well as a very impressive balcony, not to forget the view that goes with it of course.

The collection was brought alive by the three ladies of the evening: Dame Zandra Rhodes, Safia Minney (CEO & founder of People Tree) and Lucy Siegle (Author and journalist best known for reporting and writing about environmental issues).

Lucy Siegle, Dame Zandra Rhodes & Safia Minney

These three wonderful ladies travelled together to a rural village in north-western Bangladesh, where this collection's journey began. From the fields where the organic cotton is grown, to the women who sewed each piece, and the Kumudini group that block printed the fabrics for the rose and triangle designed printed dresses by hand, (the Vintage Rose dress, skirt and top, as well as the Check tunic). The technique used for the block printing is particularly fascinating: each print design is carved into wood blocks by hand, and then also printed by hand onto the fabrics - believe me these pieces were absolutely beautiful!

The Organic cotton and hand block printed Vintage Rose dress was worn by Rebecca, People Tree's main model and ambassador, who looked astoundingly beautiful in it.

The Lipstick prints were influenced by Zandra's prints dating back to the 60s, whereas the Bow prints were inspired by the old Egyptian Pharaoh's tombs.

  Safia Minney & Caryn Franklin (activista de moda)  

Safia's publisher Dan from the New Internationalist, also too the opportunity to introduce us to Safia's new book 'Slow Fashion' which will be published early next year. 

After having indulged myself in the most delicious organic Amuse-Bouche and bubbly, it was time to have a snoop around Zandra's apartment and meet all the other lovely guests.

People Tree PR Officer Mia Hadrill

We were also given a lovely organic cotton goodie bag each, filled with gorgeous items, including a beautiful monochrome clutch.

I'd like to thank Zandra Rhodes and People Tree for having me and for being so welcoming and caring for us, and the world we love and live in.

by Daniela Bovolenta

All images courtesy of People Tree.


  1. Ah I had no idea you were there! I was there too, would have been lovely to chat. It was such a fab event, love the prints on the clothes!

    1. Hi Amber!
      Sadly I wasn't there, my contributor Daniela went.
      Maybe next time, would have been lovely to catch
      up :) x

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